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Thread: RE: A Gripe

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    Default RE: A Gripe

    Dear All,

    Is it me or did none of the 2012 review programmes (that were broadcasted by the main UK TV channels during the New Year) mention the symbolic unveiling of the Bomber Command memorial on 28 June? Not even a small clip of 30 seconds? It was surely not too much to ask - amongst all the endless footage of THAT sporting event held in London during August!

    For the Bomber Command veterans this was surely THE highlight of their year.

    Regards,
    Richard

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    It WAS the highlight of the BC Vets year.
    BUT to the Reptiles that inhabit the 4th Estate it had no hype. Nobody was screaming and shouting, and it didn't increase circulation or channel watching numbers, so - for them - it was a dull non-event!
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Peter & Richard

    Before & after attending Steve Brew's book launch in the RAF club, Piccadilly

    As I came down from Park Lane I saw the Bomber Command Memorial for the first time and thought it was breathtaking considering it was built by public donations .It looked even more impressive at dusk with the Christmas lights in the parks.

    My RAAF father served in squadrons in Italy so wasn't in BC but I had a cousin who was and have friends who lost relatives.

    A change of subject but related .It was on the BBC 1 news recently. The 2 brothers who own ? the "taxiing" Lancaster at the Lincs Heritage Aviation Centre hope to be able get it flying .

    Anne

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    Default RE:

    Peter and Anne,

    Peter - I could not agree more, especially on the issue of "screaming and shouting" on TV. Thanks Anne for your comments, and interesting story. I can well imagine how impressive the Memorial would look at dusk; I have only see it in broad daylight, but I have a print painting of it in winter time. I never knew that about the Lancaster based at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre: let's hope they can pull this off.

    Regards,
    Richard

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    Default Lincolnshire Lancaster

    Anne, makes interesting point about NX611(?) 'Just Jane' which the Panton brothers want to get airborne again as a tribute to their brother Chris.

    I think there might be some major issues ahead for that project, although it is one that I have supported over the years.

    It won't be the engines and aircraft systems which cause the pain nor the aircraft skins but the structural integrity of the airframe ie the spars, stringers and ribs etc. These are made, mostly, of aluminium - don't know the precise specs involved - but there will need to be the most careful and very extensive (and hence costly) examination to prove the aircraft's integrity before it will be allowed to have a permit to fly. I know that the BBMF Lancaster has been stripped down several times and spent a goodly amount of time at Coventry being overhauled a few years ago.

    Nobody would be happier than me to see "Just Jane" fly again and just imagine a pair of Lancasters together, going down the Mall for HM's 90th birthday flypast in 2016 - GREAT.

    However, I hope the Pantons and their close advisers are being objective and focused about the issues and problems of getting an aircraft of that age and relative complexity, airborne again. I want them to be successful but only if it's safe to do so. I'll bet when this news broke, there was a sharp intake of breadth at the BBMF in Coningsby.

    Colin Cummings

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    While discussing Bomber Command is there a memorial /monument for the Spitfire pilots who took off alone in their aircraft to defend Britain early in WW2 ? Though I expect nothing like the great numbers of crews who were killed in BC ?

    As far as I know there isn't a memorial for the many crews from RAF ,SAAF ,Polish SD squadrons based in Italy, who were shot down while trying to drop supplies to Warsaw partisans flying above the city ? The ex pat Poles hold yearly ceremonies in South Africa and there were once ceremonies held in Warsaw each year.

    Anne

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    Anne,

    The basic answer to your question is probably ‘No’.

    However, there are many memorials which commemorate part of the whole. With due respect to you, I hope you will forgive me if I first say that ‘Spitfires’ only covers a part of the story of the fighter defence of Great Britain.

    There is a memorial on the Embankment and another overlooking the channel but there is no single commemoration to Fighter Command, as far as I know. As you were in the RAF Club, you might have noticed the scroll of aircrew who fought in the Battle of Britain. I think the Poles have their memorial at Northolt, although I haven’t been there for years and I think it was moved to make way for the main road widening!

    As to losses in other Theatres, I am not aware of ‘focal point’ memorials, although I have a book which shows the planning, construction and dedication of a memorial in Poland to all its airmen.

    In terms of the scale of the losses, we know that Bomber Command lost over 55000 and many of the 20000 names commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial relate to Bomber Command crews who have no known graves. Mind you, it also records about two dozen men who were lost in a York in the Straits of Malacca and they are recorded because they were UK based. Other losses of RAF personnel amounted to over 20000 but these cover air and ground crew (male and female) and has no regard to the circumstances of death. So, the Bomber Command Memorial is a tribute to something like 75% of the RAF’s casualties.

    I’m sure somebody with a better knowledge of memorials and commemorations will be able to put right any errors in my piece and add further to this topic.

    Colin Cummings

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    Cheer up Colin,
    We didn't get too bad coverage here in NZ. Perhaps not enough Poms left in UK for
    'Auntie' BBC, shame on them.

    Oh how I thank Ross and his team for this website, at least some sanity in this world of ours. keep up the good work Ross, we rely upon you.

    Happy New Year to all who read this.

    Cheers,
    Digger.

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    Colin
    Thanks for your thoughts .I suppose I meant those who fought in the Battle of Britain in the early part of WW2.
    Yes I passed the Polish Memorial sign when driving on the A40 at Northolt into or out of London last year .

    My RAAF father's 31 SAAF Liberator, with 8 crew, disappeared in Italy in October 1944 while on a supply dropping mission.It has not been found .He flew on the Warsaw airlifts in August 1944.

    Anne

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    Now here's a thought for Anne and others.

    The National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas in Staffordshire is within the bounds of the National Forest and is rapidly becoming the repository of memorials and commemorations of all sorts - not just military, although the Armed Forces Memorial is there, as is the Polish Forces new memorial.

    Anybody can ask to be allocated a space to place a memorial, large or small. Obviously, the proposal to do so has to be well founded and there needs to be a plan for its upkeep etc. There is a chapel which is used for services etc and it's an interesting place to visit - bl*&^y cold most of the time IMHO but also a moving and thought provoking range of commemorations.

    Perhaps something along the lines of a Commonwealth and Polish Mediterranean Air Forces memorial might be worth thinking about.

    Colin Cummings

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